The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported on Thursday on recent decision by a Cook County judge to deny transfer of a medical malpractice lawsuit to DuPage County where the conduct actually occurred. This was a unique decision in that most cases are resolved locally, in the county where the negligence occurs.
The malpractice case in question involves a patient who was injured in a suicide attempt, released and severely injured again in a second attempt. The suit was filed by the patient’s plenary guardian against the Hospital and doctors who treated the victim between the two suicide attempts.
The main issue was application of a legal doctrine know as forum non conveniens-where a court may chose to refuse jurisdiction in a matter because a more appropriate alternative location is available. In other words the medical defendants asked the Cook County judge not to hear the case because the DuPage court system was a superior location to resolve the matter when considering the public and private interests involved.
However, the judge in this case found that other considerations were stronger than the interest in deciding the controversy locally. For one thing, the size of the DuPage County itself makes it more difficult to find an impartial jury of 12 when the trial is conducted there. Both court dockets are overburdened, with about the same lag time between filing and conclusion, so there would be no adverse effect on the Cook County justice system. In addition, there is little unfairness or extra trial expense considering the two court locations are only 32 miles apart. The court found that there would be no effect on the ability to obtain testimonial evidence nor personal inconvenience for the parties. Therefore, the court rejected the forum non conveniens motion and allowed the matter to proceed.
If you have been the victim of malpractice in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, or anywhere in Illinois, contact a malpractice attorney at Levin & Perconti to share your story. We have worked for decades with a wide variety of victims of all types of cases involving negligent conduct.
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